January 17, 2011
The Possession of David O'Reilly (2010)
The more I think about this movie, the more it just kinda pisses me off.
The story is simple; David arrives late one night at his friends house, carrying on about how his wife is a cheating whore, and his friends tell him to stay the night. During the night, he starts seeing demons creeping around and trying to "get him", wakes his friends, rants a lot, and they just say "Calm down mate, stay here as long as you need, despite you acting crazy and unstable."
Despite his wife telling him that something feels wrong about the whole thing and that they need to tell David to leave, Alex dismisses her and invited the obviously unwell man to stay as long as he needs to. Out of guilt I guess? Now, if you're really someone's friend, you stick with them even through the worst of times, that's just how decent people act, but let's be real here; it was obvious that something happened to his wife and that David was either in the same danger or losing his grip on reality, so either way a good friend would have called the police or someone in the mental health field to truly help their friend in need.
The torment of David by demons/his paranoia (we aren't ever sure which it is) grows worse and worse, and with his sane yet ignorant friends standing by and doing nothing about it, we are treated to constant jittery camera moves, long shots of doors, rooms and hallways, and by the time we get to the end, it's a little creepy but just makes too little sense and frustrates us so much that it all ceases to matter.
And what about the ending sucks so bad? Well it's absolutely ambiguous, as we get no clear resolution of anything. I am all for open endings and guessing games in my movies, but there has to be something else there to support those kind of choices, or it just doesn't work. Had the movie that come before been compelling as the filmmakers intended, the ending could have passed as interesting. Instead, it just feels like a cop out for a story that never knew what it really wanted to be.
The movie relies too much on forcing us to ask "what's going on here?" to be enjoyable, and coupled with the found footage-esque visuals, perpetual darkness, and jumbled feel, it takes us right out of anything that was meant to be suspenseful or creepy.
Was there anything good about it?: Sure, there were a few things.
-The creatures -what very little we got to see of them- did look creepy and pretty cool.
-The acting is fairly solid all around, though the character of David is too jittery and disjointed, making him annoying more than convincing or sympathetic.
-The premise was interesting, though nothing very interesting was done with it.
I can imagine that some people will like this movie, though I can't really imagine why. It's NOT a Paranormal Activity clone, so don't go thinking that, although the director seems to think that this movie gave the makers of Paranormal Activity their film's foundation. That's a pretty bold statement considering that one movie sucked and one movie didn't. I guess it's up to you to decide which is which.
As for us....